Writing an Effective Complaint Letter


Disagreements, concerns and disputes are a normal part of marketplace transactions. When they do arise, the BBB encourages consumers to attempt to resolve their issues with the company first. Most companies are customer-oriented and will embrace the opportunity to ensure you remain a happy client. To do so, call or email the company and let them know you have a customer service issue that needs to be addressed. If you receive no action or reply after a reasonable period of time -one week- start a paper trail and write to the company.

      Your letter should include the following:


  • Address the letter to the President and/or owner. Basically, you need to get the attention of someone with authority. No matter if it is the Director of Customer Service or another top officer; you just want someone who can fix the problem.
  • Give them specific data. State what was purchased and when. Provide a copy of any receipts or documentation.
  • State your concerns. The letter should be cordial and free from inflammatory comments. Do not rant and rave, be professional.
  • Let the company know what it is you want. Are you seeking a refund, or an exchange? Perhaps you just want an apology? Whatever your request, be reasonable and stick to the specific problem and not dovetail consequences.
  • Pain and suffering issues are for the courts to decide.
  • Set a time table. The letter should provide the company a reasonable period of time to respond: two weeks.
  • Also, the letter should state that you are, in good faith, seeking the cooperation of the company in the matter and that if the issues remain unresolved you will seek formal dispute resolution assistance.
  • If the company fails to reply to the letter, or resolve the issue, file a formal complaint with the BBB.